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A call to action

'It is encouraging to see Scotch’s Years 7 and 8 boys beginning to understand the way their society is developing and where it has come from.'

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In the Middle School it is now customary for Year 7 boys to go through a symbolic and meaningful process in their first year, in line with Remembrance Day at Scotch.

The Annual Remembrance Day assembly in the Senior School is unique, and very well observed by all members of the school community. Each year, our Year 7 boys are asked to place individually marked and labelled crosses in the Quadrangle lawns, representing Old Boys who died in World Wars I and II.

The boys sit on chairs placed on the lawn just outside the Memorial Hall, while the service takes place inside the hall, attended by the Principal, staff, boys and invited guests – Old Boy war veterans. During the assembly, which is broadcast into the Quad, one by one the boys lay out the crosses in the lawns, World War I crosses on the eastern side of the Quad and World War II crosses on the western side. Once placed, they form two seas of white crosses – a sobering reminder of the sacrifices made in war by Old Boys of the school.

This year was no different for the Year 7 boys. They were respectful, attentive and reverent during the whole assembly, mindful of the devastating effects of war and the impact which it has had on our school community. Actions such as this, the Student 2 Student reading programme and the ‘Think Tank’ group, show that the boys understand where they fit in the community, and where their responsibilities lie.

The boys in the ‘Think Tank’ group have met this year every second week at lunchtimes, led by two school Prefects, Scott Wrigley and Angus McNeil. Many issues have been raised, ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the carbon tax. Here is an example of a typical meeting:

This week’s Think Tank session involved a fairly smooth and open discussion regarding the Middle Eastern ‘revolution’ of 2011. I was quite impressed with the Year 7 and Year 8 boys who put forward some strong ideas and had a deeper general knowledge of this topic. We touched upon the following areas:

  • The meaning of revolution
  • The ‘domino’ effect of the Middle Eastern ‘revolution’
  • Why people in the Middle East are dissatisfied with their current leaders
  • The corrupt nature of these leaders
  • The way in which innocent people are affected in these areas
  • Reasons for our concern about Middle Eastern affairs
  • How lucky we are to live in a country with a stable government

As the Years 7 and 8 boys go about their daily activities, it is encouraging to see them beginning to understand the way their society is developing and where it has come from.

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